PCG EMAIL SERVICES: LUBBOCKONLINE.COM - Wet weekend hits South Plains, but drought far from over
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Mon May 26 07:54:11 CDT 2014
LUBBOCKONLINE.COM - Wet weekend hits South Plains, but drought far from over
Sunday, May 25, 2014
By JOSIE MUSICO
Good news has literally fallen from the sky this weekend.
Even better news is that more rain could be coming.
Now for some bad news — drought is still far from over. But could the rainfall relief mean it’s at least the beginning of the end?
Maybe, said meteorologist Charles Aldrich.
“To get out of drought we’ll need quite a bit more, but the good thing is we’re catching up,” said Aldrich, who works for the National Weather Service in Lubbock.
As of press time Sunday night, rainfall totals from the past 72 hours averaged about 2 or 3 inches throughout most of the South Plains.
The honor of largest amount of moisture went to Ralls, whose weather station reported 5.4 inches in that three-day period. In comparison, Ralls received a total of 6.67 inches during the entire year of 2011.
But compared with long-term averages, South Plains rainfall totals are high for this month and about 2 inches below average for this point in the year, Aldrich said.
Among the weather stations in A-J Media’s coverage area with rainfall totals on the lower end were Seminole, which recorded just more than half an inch, and Post, with about .65 of an inch.
Aldrich attributed the recent rain to a large upper-level low that’s moving eastward, pulling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
Most of the recent rains were of the extra-good kind for newly-planted crops, unaccompanied by hail or heavy winds.
“For much of our area, this is the slow, steady, widespread rainfall we have prayed for,” said Steve Verett, exeuctive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, in a news release from the organization.
More showers could lead to a wet Memorial Day. Rain chances for Monday are highest in parts of the Rolling Plains, and about 40 to 50 percent in Lubbock.
And more would undoubtedly be even better.
Insufficient moisture over the past few years has created what’s known as a deficit, meaning normal weather won’t be enough to change the conditions.
Whether the area will receive the above-average rainfall during the rest of 2014 that it needs to catch up is not certain.
Aldrich said if El Niño forms in the Pacific — as certain research indicates it could — significant precipitation could arrive this winter.
josephine.musico at lubbockonline.com• 766-8796
Follow Josie on Twitter @josiemusico
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